Growing up, my father and I would go to this Turkish restaurant in northern Jersey where they served lentil soup, a similar version to this soup, just with brown lentils. Every time, after we went grocery shopping or into the town, we stopped to order this soup. If the restaurant did not have it that day, we would wait or come back later for them to make a fresh batch. I guess at one point we became regulars and they knew that soup was our favorite. I really do wish I could remember what the restaurant was called.
About a week ago, I was super excited to get my hands on some red lentils.
Immediately, I wanted to try and re-create the restaurant version by just remembering what they put in the soup.
There are so many lentil soups out there and so many ways to make this soup. I've combined a few recipes together to make this perfect, hearty soup that has the perfect texture. I pureed the soup after it was cooked, that way you are unable to feel the texture of lentils.
What are lentils? For those of you that do not know, lentils are legumes that pack a mighty dose of nutrition; rich in minerals, fiber and protein. Dried lentils are really a year round staple in many homes. They can be put in salads during the summer months and made into hearty soups, like this one in the winter months. Compared to other dried beans, lentils are actually quick and easy to prepare.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium-sized potato diced
1 cup dried red lentils
1 medium onion diced
2 medium carrots diced
4 cups of water
4 oz cooked shredded chicken
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon cumin
1 whole bay leaf (optional)
1/2 large lemon for freshly squeezed lemon juice
Serving: plain yogurt, parsley, lemon squeeze
1. Heat the olive oil on medium high in a medium saucepan. Add the onion, carrot, salt, turmeric, cumin and smoked paprika and stir together. Cover the saucepan and stir together occasionally. Let the vegetables sweat until the onions are translucent and soft - this takes about 3-5 minutes.
2. Add the lentils, the diced potatoes, then the shredded, cooked chicken. Add the water and a bay leaf. Bring to boil.
3. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the soup simmer, covered. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
4. Turn the heat off, stir in lemon juice and taste the soup and season more if needed.
5. Let the soup cool down and puree in batches. Pulse the soup in batches and on low speed first and continue to do so until you have a smooth texture. (You can use an immersion blender, food processor, or a regular blender.)
5. Transfer into bowls and add toppings, such as a dollop of plain yogurt.
All my love,